Teaching with Enthusiasm

To be a teacher is to do more than just relay information to pupils. To be a successful teacher one needs to be knowledgeable, respectful, flexible, and, most of all, enthusiastic.

Many teachers at my high school meet these standards. As a student, I have been taught by different kinds of teachers. I have worked with teachers who are new and fresh out of college, who tend to be the most relatable and often empathize best with students. I have experienced teachers of all ages who are so outgoing and enthusiastic that you can often find them with a group of students during their shared free periods. Other teachers I’ve had are infamous for their seemingly impossible curriculums. Then there are the teachers who are seasoned pros, yet they often are disconnected from their students.

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All of these types of teachers are acceptable, or at the least tolerable. The type I find intolerable are unenthusiastic teachers. Not being enthusiastic could possibly be one of the worst attitudes one could have as a teacher. This year, I have one teacher that continues to express how they do not want to be teaching the class. Not only is this unprofessional, it also gives negative vibes for the remainder of the class block. Should teachers be forced to teach a class they don’t want to? No, no teacher should be forced to teach a class that they don’t feel is relevant or they simply don’t feel qualified to teach.

When a teacher doesn’t like the class they are teaching, it can negatively affect their attitude and teaching style. On the contrary, when a teacher loves the subject or class, it often shows in their tone of voice and the effort they put into the lessons. Currently I have a teacher who doesn’t want to be teaching my class. It not only discourages me as a student, but it harms the student-teacher relationship, which is an important partof learning. Some may find it hard to understand how a teacher who spent at least four years in college, could not enjoy teaching.

Often, this isn’t the case; teachers find they are able to teach a subject most interesting and enjoyable to them. To clarify, my teacher – who shall remain unnamed – enjoys teaching world language, and their dedication to learning the language has proven this. Therefore, one would assume that they would enjoy teaching within in the range of their qualifications. My teacher is one of two teachers in my school that is qualified to teach my level class. This proves that there should be no reason preventing them from wanting to teach.

The first time my teacher expressed how they wished to not be teaching the class, one could see a physical change in the classroom. Students (including myself) sunk into their chairs, and we found ourselves not wanting to be in the class. Through discussion with my classmates, I found that I was not alone in feeling disappointed and discouraged by our teacher’s statement. That one sentence had the ability to shift the dynamic of the classroom community. My teacher was blunt and stated that they didn’t want to teach the class, however something such as being unenthusiastic when teaching a subject can convey this message. Teachers who are dull and tepid in their teaching make the subject seem just that.

Why is this bad? It may just be their teaching style, however I believe that the teacher forms your opinion on the subject. For example, I had a great science teacher in seventh grade and a bad math teacher in sixth grade, hence I now find myself favoring science over math. Due to the influence a teacher has on a student’s opinion, it is imperative for teachers to always work to their best ability. If they feel incapable of this, they should find a way to change why they don’t like it or no longer teach the class. This could take the form of talking to the department head and swapping classes with another qualified teacher, or finding a way to enjoy it.

At least, a teacher should cover up their negative emotions because not everything we do is something we enjoy. A teacher’s engagement in a class is worth just as much, if not more, than the students’ engagement. Some may argue that it would create a greater issue to try to manipulate a teacher’s schedule to classes they like rather than just leaving it be. In reality, at the end of the day a student who is in a class with a teacher who is unenthusiastic will still be learning. This is true, even though my teacher has expressed multiple times they wish to not be teaching my class, I am still learning.

Learning goes beyond the simple practice of understanding. In a classroom, I want more than to understand the base level of the topic. I want to enjoy the classroom environment, and feel support from my teacher, both of which are encompassed in learning. It is hard to do this with a teacher who is unenthusiastic. However, with teachers who are enthusiastic, enjoy what they are doing, and give it their all to their students, it is easy for a student to feel supported in their learning.

This applies to the classes which students don’t enjoy, not because of the teacher, but simply because it isn’t interesting to them. Therefore, it is important that all students feel like they are in a classroom where their teacher is enthusiastic, excited about teaching, and putting in all of their effort towards the student’s success.